One of my morning rituals is walking around my garden with my doggies. With a cup of tea in hand, I inspect with great joy, the various pots of herbs, my orchids, succulents and other flowering plants. I look for what has sprouted, what is wilting and what needs to be re-potted. The most fascinating thing in nature is the realization that when the old are in their final stages, comes the burgeoning of the new; usually budding just below. I am awed by the way that plants and seeds reproduce. The Almighty Creator is magnificent in his work! Every plant, bird, creature and insect has its place in the sphere of life. All species have a special place and existence in the garden.Collectively, all actions are interconnected. Like links in a chain; the bonds are crucial and important. Each life form is part the larger sphere of things that make organisms grow and develop. We often never realize this, or if we do, we too often take it for granted. I urge you to take the time some day to silently observe Nature. You will be amazed and maybe even dumbstruck at how fascinating a garden can be. The micro cosmic world is a place of wonderment and joy. There are so many lessons to be learned everyday. You will be rewarded when you take a moment to appreciate the little things in life.
On my walk yesterday, I picked some sprigs of rosemary, sage and parsley and took them into the kitchen. I then decided to make this dish based on the aromas and flavors of these wonderful fresh herbs. As I had fresh all-natural free-range chickens which I source from a wonderful local farmer, I decided on a lemon, rosemary, garlic and sage roast chicken. The results were scrumptious. What a perfect marriage of fresh herbs, olive oil, lemons and lots of garlic make for chicken. Here is my recipe.
1 whole chicken, about 4 lbs , cut in half
2 tbsp green seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 /2 tsp black pepper
3 sprigs rosemary
6 cloves garlic, chopped fine
6 sage leaves
4 sprigs parsley, chopped fine
1 tbsp chopped thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chile flakes
1 tbsp cognac or rum
1 tsp sugar
Roasted vegetables to accompany:
4 carrots, 4 potatoes or sweet potatoes, 2 leeks
Cut the chicken into halves. Add 2 tbsp green seasoning.
In a bowl, mix garlic, thyme, chile flakes, salt, juice of 1 lemon, soy, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, sugar, chopped parsley, 1 tbsp olive oil and cognac. Pour marinade over chicken and ensure that all the areas have seasoning.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice leeks and carrots and place at the bottom of a baking/ roasting pan. Add 2 sprigs of rosemary to the pan and then place marinated chicken halves on top of them. Pour all marinade juices over the chicken.
Slice 1 lemon into 5-6 pieces and add to chicken pieces. Drizzle a tbsp olive oil over the chicken pieces. Place in preheated oven.
If using, parboil the root vegetables in salted water for 10 -12 mins. Add them alongside the roast chickens and vegetables.
Check chicken every 15 minutes to ensure that the cooking liquid has not dried out. Add about 1/3 cup water or chicken stock to ensure that there is always some liquid at the bottom of the pan. This will also serve as your gravy.
Bake chicken for 1 hour. The skin should be a lovely dark golden brown and the vegetable should be cooked through and the meat should not be pink or bloody.
Place cooked chicken halves in a lovely platter and serve with the roasted vegetables alongside.